Ideal conditions for fishing in the upper reaches

Lachie Wallis with a school jew.
Lachie Wallis with a school jew. CONTRIBUTED

LIMITED rain from only a few storms and virtually no run-off from the creeks has led to fantastic fishing in the upper reaches.

Fishing the upper reaches of Maroochy and Noosa rivers can produce rewarding catches.

The weather, combined with the days getting hotter, has seen good-size trophy fish such as mangrove jack, school jew and flathead being caught.

With the limited rainfall and the large tides in the past few week, the salinity level in the upper reaches of the river has risen, so those fish we would normally see in the lower parts of the river have moved well upstream.

The smaller baitfish that are normally a lot further downstream are making their way right up to the upper reaches.

This means that those predator fish such as queenfish and trevally and even tailor can be right the way through most of the Sunshine Coast river systems.

The one fish that is on everyone's lips at the moment has to be mangrove jack - and with good reason.

This year is shaping up to being a stand-out, with anglers reporting better-than-usual great catches.

Jacks are one of those fish that can cope with a bit of fresh and will stay in their snaggy homes even when the rains do come.

Jacks will feed during the day but will use their ambush technique to feed and run back to their snaggy home.

Under the cover of darkness, they are more than happy to cruise around in the shallows and feed in the open.

Jewies or mulloway are also prevalent at the moment, with some larger-sized fish being taken in the systems.

Jew will tend to hang in those deeper holes where the saline level is that bit higher and feed on passing bait.

Another not-so-common fish that we see at this time of the year is thread fin salmon.

Threadies, as they are commonly known, are one of those captures that have become more common over the past few years.

Thread fin love to come to the surface, show themselves and then head for the nearest snag at an astonishing rate.

Hooking them isn't the problem: it's their awesome fighting power and the skill to land the fish successfully that is.

There are a number of different ways you could tangle these upper-reaches species.

The first and most productive has to be live bait, but for me, it is all about lures.

Working out what the fish are feeding on and imitating that bait is the perfect start.

So if there is a run of prawns in the system, start with a prawn imitation such as the Squidgy Prawn or the Zerek Live Shrimp.

If there is an abundance of herring, I like to use soft plastics - preferably in a fish profile bright in colour and plenty of action imparted such as the new Chase Bait range.

Paddle vibes are also excellent as their vibration sends a message down the lateral line of the fish which indicates a wounded bait fish.

Suspending lures are very popular. These lures give you more time in the water column and in front of the fish's face that bit longer.

Some of the performing suspending lures in the range have been the Zerek Tango Shad and the Jackall Squirrel.

Last of all and probable the most exciting has to be surface lures.

Surface lures are a fantastic visual way to fish. Ideal surface lures that would do the job are the Fish Candy Skinny Dogs and Atomic Hard Z Bulldog.

Now for all the latest information, log on to for up-to-date bar and fishing reports. Don't forget to drop into Davo's Tackle World in Noosa or Davo's Northshore Bait & Tackle at Marcoola to find out where the fish are biting, and remember: tight lines and bent spines.

Topics:  column fishing mangrove jack outdoor-living totally hooked

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